Letters to the editor – 27.8.20

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New approach needed at Rest

Soil creep or debris flow  at The Rest and Be Thankful will continue until the mountain is cleared of all loose material. Geotechnical engineers cannot stop such massive forces of nature wiath protective bunds or channels, and  canopies would eventually be drowned with debris.  An elevated approach road in the valley leading to a short tunnel at the top would permanently solve the problem and commuted cost calculations would show long-term financial benefits.
Mike Rayworth, Invercreran.

Motorhomers easy to blame

I have just read Kathie Griffiths’ article on campervans and wild camping on Mull.
Firstly, I and many others in the campervans/motorhome community (at least 250,000) are extremely saddened at the bad behaviour of a few.
One point I’d like to put to the councillors is: where do I put a pallet in my campervan or motorhome to go burn in the woods ?

Most of us are over 50 years of age, with money to spend in your communities, all we need is somewhere fill with water and dump our waste. It works in Hawick, go check their attitude.

Most camp sites want minimum of four night stay, which is fine for caravan owners, but the very nature of motorhome/campervans is that we are more mobile and will only stay in one place for one or two nights

Have a look at the CAMPRA website as well, speak to one of the organisers and publish our side of the story.

Once again, there is no excuse for dumping any kind of waste and I’m sorry if it was a genuine motorhome/campervan user but we are too easily targeted and I wouldn’t be surprised if it came from other sources.
Trevor Skinns, by email.

Ardconnell school trip

In 1985 a group of children from Ardconnell school went on a trip to York with headteacher Donald Beckitt and his wife Anne and the late Helen Harold, school psychologist and local historian. The five children were Lissa Beckitt, Stewart MacIntyre, Karen Buchanan, Eilidh McNicol and Donald Mackay.

Does anyone know of their whereabouts?

I am Helen’s sister and have some pictures of the trip that I’d like to pass on to them or their families.
Teresa Watson, teresandrew@yahoo.com

Working from home pitfalls

I noticed your article about councillors considering council staff working from home.
One of the problems with this is home workers who want to move home will have Capital Gains Tax issues to contend with. While a Capital Tax Gain would not usually arise when you sell your main home it will be a whole different ball game if you use any part of your home just for business.

Working from home tax will soon be the new normal for everyone but the administration of ABC, so were not all in it together – again.
Angus Files, sent by email.

Formaldehyde petition

The comments around Corin Smith’s petition about the use of formaldehyde in freshwater lochs in last week’s edition do not begin to do justice to the problems of chemical use in Scottish waters by the aquaculture industry.

Our seas are treated like a huge, uncontrolled chemical and biological experiment, supervised only in local pockets by SEPA. The attitude that a chemical breaks down quickly neglects the questions of what it breaks down into and how these products and it react in a complex environment.

There should equally be concern about the vast uncontrolled use of hydrogen peroxide at open sea farms, about the effect of medicines on the environment outside of the immediate area of a farm and the impact of both excrement and unused fish food on water quality and ecosystems more widely. The likely outcomes of this great scientific experiment are largely unknown.

Regulatory authorities take little or no interest in the relation between salmon farms and toxic algal blooms, dismissed as ‘complex natural phenomena’, or their part in shellfish toxins which are common in the region.

The stubborn refusal of the government, on economic grounds, to take an appropriately precautionary approach to aquaculture will ultimately have a huge negative impact, including economically, on all of us and our descendants. The parallels with global government attitudes to fossil fuels for the past century or so are striking. It’s just about water instead of air.
Dennis Archer, co-convenor, Argyll & Bute Branch, Scottish Green Party, Oban.

Wearing masks outdoors

In 20 French cities the law is that you must mask up when you are going outside at all times and with recent infections now reaching primary and secondary age pupils in southern Scotland, we should be doing the same.

This horrible disease will never stop rearing its ugly head, although hopefully it is detected quickly and contained in localised areas so as to prevent further spread of the infection.

But masking up and personal hygiene regime must not be relaxed and are extremely crucial at this time. Outside and inside confined areas, masking must be the new normal.

It is a ludicrous situation to allow youngsters to spill out from school at dinner-times to be unmasked, talking to friends, walking side by side. Safer advice would be for everyone to cover faces, if able, at all times as part of the new normal world to keep everyone in the local population as safe as possible.
Stephen Jones, Oban.